By Johnny Trlica
Finally, some good news! The Houston Astros have clinched their first division title in 16 years, the team’s first as a member of the American League. With a strong push in their final few games, the boys of summer could head into the playoffs with a 100-win season, a remarkable turnaround from three straight 100-loss campaigns in 2011 through 2013. Now let’s just hope we get to see Jose Altuve and George Springer soaked in champagne in the locker room.
Here’s a bit more of what we’ve been reading at HoustonRainbowHerald.com.
Godmother of marriage equality dies
If you are one of the thousands of gay or lesbian people who have gotten married or plan on getting married to the person you love, you have one person to thank for that: Edith Windsor. The gay rights pioneer, whose landmark Supreme Court case struck down parts of a federal anti-gay-marriage law and paved a path toward legalizing same-sex nuptials nationwide, died September 12 at 88, reports ABCNews.com.
“Windsor already was 81 when she brought a lawsuit that proved to be a turning point for gay rights. The impetus was the 2009 death of her first spouse, Thea Spyer. The women had married legally in Canada in 2007 after spending more than 40 years together. Windsor said the federal Defense of Marriage Act’s definition of marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman prevented her from getting a marital deduction on Spyer’s estate. That meant Windsor faced a $360,000 tax bill that heterosexual couples would not have,” writes ABC News.
Windsor won her case with the Supreme Court voting 5 to 4 in June 2013 that the
provision in the law was unconstitutional, and that legally married same-sex couples are entitled to the same federal benefits that heterosexual couples receive.
That decision became the basis for a wave of federal court rulings that struck down state marriage bans and led to a 2015 Supreme Court ruling, giving same-sex couples the right to marry from coast to coast.
Former President Barack Obama said, “America’s long journey towards equality has been guided by countless small acts of persistence, and fueled by the stubborn willingness of quiet heroes to speak out for what’s right. Few were as small in stature as Edie Windsor—and few made as big a difference to America.”
Houston takes Texas to Supreme Court
Equal means equal. The City of Houston and Mayor Sylvester Turner filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court that asks the court to review the June 30, 2017 decision of the Texas Supreme Court in Pidgeon v. Parker, reports The City of Houston in a press release.
The release reads in part, “In Pidgeon, the Texas court held that in Obergefell v. Hodges and Pavan v. Smith, the United States Supreme Court “did not hold that states must provide the same publicly funded benefits to all married persons,” regardless of whether their marriages are same-sex or opposite-sex.
But in fact, Obergefell, decided in 2015, recognized a nationwide right to civil marriage for same-sex couples, and held that the benefits a state attaches to marriage must be provided equally to all married couples, whether same-sex or opposite-sex.
In Pavan, decided June 26, 2017, the Court reaffirmed that Obergefell requires that same-sex marriages are entitled the same “constellation of benefits” afforded opposite-sex marriages.”
The drag show must go on
Hurricane Harvey could not keep a Houston drag queen from putting on a show. Regina Thorne-DuBois was featured in a feature story on NBCNews.com for her efforts raising more than $3000 for the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund and Montrose Center.
“Because no one could get out to see a drag show, I said, ‘Well, I’m going to bring the drag show to y’all,’” Thorne-DuBois told NBC News. She and some fellow drag
performers streamed their show live on Facebook from their living rooms and encouraged viewers to send tips, which they donated to the charities.
Thorne-DuBois, whose real name is Ryan Barrett said, “Because the LGBT community is really how drag queens are able to make a living and keep putting food on their tables and paying their bills, I wanted to make sure I could help them out.”
Janet Jackson storms into Houston
Is it live or is it Memorex? If you are old enough to remember the iconic commercial of the 1970s, you may have been thinking that if you attended the Janet Jackson “State of the World” tour on September 9 at Toyota Center.
A day after she walked through the George R. Brown Convention Center to visit with evacuees displaced by Hurricane Harvey, Jackson rocked the stage, delivering hit after hit along with a couple of new songs. She sang and danced but never lost her breath. And all of this, just months after giving birth.
Now, don’t get us wrong. It was an enjoyable and entertaining show and Jackson did not disappoint the nearly sold-out crowd. The 51-year-old singer/actress had stage presence and delivered a high-energy performance.